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Economy in Brief

Chain Store Sales Stabilize
by Tom Moeller June 6, 2006

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)-UBS reported that chain store sales stabilized last week and ticked 0.1% higher following two weeks of sharp decline.

As a result of w/w declines during May, sales in the opening week of June were 1.0% below the May average which fell 0.4% from April. During the last ten years there has been a 47% correlation between the y/y change in chain store sales and the change in nonauto retail sales less gasoline.

The ICSC-UBS retail chain-store sales index is constructed using the same-store sales (stores open for one year) reported by 78 stores of seven retailers: Dayton Hudson, Federated, Kmart, May, J.C. Penney, Sears and Wal-Mart.

The leading indicator of chain store sales from ICSC-UBS rose for the first time since early March. A 0.2% increase nevertheless left the series down 2.5% versus one year ago and 4.1% from the recent peak in January.

Comments on the Outlook for the U.S. Economy and Monetary Policy, remarks by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke
at the International Monetary Conference in Washington, D.C. can be found here.

ICSC-UBS (SA, 1977=100) 06/03/06 05/27/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Total Weekly Chain Store Sales 468.1 467.5 3.4% 3.6% 4.7% 2.9%
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